Jonathan Evison Reading
It’s been more than 50 years since “This Is Your Life,” the early reality show after which Jonathan Evison’s new novel is named. The show provides the framework for this book. Evison intersperses current day scenes with ones narrated by an omniscient host addressing Harriet, recounting the days from her birth to her dotage.
“The themes Evison presents — disappointment, delusion, redemption — are universal, and he deals with them beautifully in this wonderful novel.” —The New York Times Sunday Book Review.
“Once again, Jonathan Evison dazzles . . . This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is as sweet as it is inventive, profound as it is hilarious, unflinching as it is bighearted.” – Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette
It might seem odd for a writer in his 40’s to create a main character who is a 78-year-old widow.
“When I was 17 years old, I lived with my agoraphobic grandmother in a senior citizen trailer park,” Evison recalls in an LA Times interview. ” I was the only person under 65 in this whole community.” The large mobile-home park was home to a couple of hundred seniors, mostly elderly widows.
Evison’s debut novel, All About Lulu, won critical acclaim, including the Washington State Book Award, and landed on many year-end “Best of” lists, including Hudson Booksellers, where it enjoyed the added distinction of being the only independent title selected in 2008. The L Magazine included All About Lulu in its Best Books of the Decade. His next novel West of Here also won awards.
His third novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving was made into a movie with Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez, released in 2015.
Evison is renowned for his extensive and colorful book touring. In 2009 and 2011 he was nominated by the American Book Association as Most Engaging Author.
Evison formerly worked as a laborer, a caregiver, a bartender, a telemarketer, a car salesman and a syndicated radio host. In this latter incarnation, he was the writer, producer, and host of the award winning comedy show, Shaken, Not Stirred. In his teens, Evison was the founding member and frontman of the Seattle punk band March of Crimes, which included future members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden.
Following Evison’s reading and Q&A in the evening, we’ll have our popular Open Mic where up to nine local or visiting writers will read 5 minutes of their original work. The suggested (not required) theme for the evening’s Open Mic is “Life’s Surprises.” Admission for the evening reading is $7.
The Manzanita Writers’ Series is a program of the Hoffman Center for the Arts and will be held at the Hoffman Center (across from Manzanita Library at 594 Laneda Avenue.) For more information contact Kathie Hightower, firstname.lastname@example.org